Thursday, 31 July 2014

Whales, Dolphins and Celebrations.

To celebrate my 32 year old daughter Katrina being given the all clear from mouth cancer we went on this amazing trip. I won this with Nutella late last year. You had to write about a trip you would take for a day up to the value of £3,000. Luckily for us they like this trip and they booked it all for four of us including hotel stays and car hire.
 

 We flew to Inverness from our local Luton airport then picked up a hire car. Driving over misty mystical mountains to Gailoch took and hour and half, we had booked a four hour whale watching boat trip here. The boat trip cost £75 per person in a twelve seater hard hull boat and the skipper was brilliant. After being kitted out in waterproof clothing it was off on our adventure. The sea was calm but it was a misty drizzling day but we were very happy that bad weather had not prevented the trip taking place. Ten miles out to sea and the most beautiful amazing sight danced out before our eyes. A pod of around 80 dolphins sprang out of the water some of the females came right up to the boat showing off their tiny babies. There was just us the sea and the dolphins it was truly amazing. 
Then the boat went out to 30 miles and we just sat and waited. The sea and sky blended together and it was a surreal experience. The music to jaws playing in my head disappeared as the skipper shouted 11 o clock! our heads turned to the place were a huge whale dived through the waters. Then another few appeared, they were Minke whales and were much bigger than I imagined. They were not as close to us as the dolphins but we had a perfect view. Stunning! Off next to the Shetland Isle puffin cliffs were puffins filled the sky and shags fished for their dinner. 


Tiny chicks looked down from the cliffs guarded by a parent and the scenery was straight off a movie set. Seals bobbed up to say hello and otters scooted for cover. A very memorable beautiful trip. We then stayed overnight in the Mythe Hotel which was just a mile up the coast and was a lovely place with excellent local food. A flight back to London the next morning and we headed to the Rembrantt Hotel in Knightsbridge. This was right facing the Victoria and Albert Museum and nearby science museum. We spent the afternoon in the spa next door which had special rates for guests of the hotel. Then it was time for our booking in the Oblix Restaurant at the Shard. The restaurant is a busy bar with live music and spectacular views over London. 
The service was exceptional and great efforts by the chef and staff were made to accommodate Katrina`s limited ability to eat. We had a wonderful time the food is small, exquisite and expensive. What an an amazing weekend.
View from the Shard


Here is video that my son took while we were there, it is ten minutes long and the first few minutes show the amazing dolphins.

http://youtu.be/QU8VitLz6Hw


UKbreakaways have some amazing breaks in fabulous places in the Uk including Scotland and London. They are also running a competition to win £250 worth of holiday vouchers  here.  http://www.travelwithamate.com/competition-win-cash-prize-uk-holiday/

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

My Fabulous Winning Year

I have had another fantastic year with my comping hobby, winning some pretty amazing prizes over the year.

Spa Days for 2 x 12 in January with Barclay Cards Facebook comp. We had a girls day out using 16 of these in one go. It was great fun.

Attending the Baftas thanks to the Mirror Newspaper and the Book Awards with Specsaver. Both of these included overnight stays in London and were amazing.

I have been to the Buckingham Palace Coronation festival thanks to Waitrose purchase comp and  as VIP to the Henley Regatta from a twitter comp.





 
A week in Turkey
 
 
I was asked to go and review a hotel in Turkey for a week for Solo holidays which was due to writing reviews for http://silvertripadvisor.co.uk
 


Spun on rides at Alton Towers again thanks to twitter and had afternoon tea in Bond Street. Another booked for February as well as a theatre tickets.



My nephew has watched his favourite team Arsenal from the executive box and his brother and sister had a wonderful time at a sleepover in Hamleys Toy Shop. One was an email comp the other a good old fashioned slogan.


A hudi from Tescos twitter comp, Sci-Fi weekend passes for 6 from an email and plenty of small prizes.

My best prize by far this year though has been winning one of the ten Nutella £3,000 plan your own special day prizes. This was a fun creative comp. We have chosen to go and see some whales in Scotland so that is something to look forward to next year.

I use compers news, http://www,prizefinder.com and http://www.moneysavingexpert.com for most of my comping information and they are all brilliant. You do need to put in the hours though and search around for those low entry comps. I am not keen on fb comps but really like twitter. I am happy to enter most comps except voting and have won a few prizes using photos the most recent being a fancy coffee pot from an advent comp. Plus smaller prizes.

Total value of my wins is over £12,000 - excellent year

Here is my pinterest board showing some of my great prizes

http://www.pinterest.com/chrismse1/my-winning-hobby/

Have a lucky 2014


January 2014


1. Afternoon Tea at Gorge Hotel in Knightsbridge

2. Box seats, champagne and programme to Let it Be Musical London

3. Goody bag and book for 12 years a Slave

4. Babour Dog Coat

5. Sets of 2013 comemerative stamps

6. Now TV freeview box

7. A Two Day London Pass - excellent free entry to lots of places.









Friday, 15 November 2013

Keep Warm Tips

The weather is certainly getting colder so I have listed some links and tips on keeping warm. The snow will soon be causing it`s usual havoc.



I am going to start with a Girl Called Jacks very useful and interesting blog post here : http://agirlcalledjack.com/2013/11/14/my-tips-for-keeping-warm-in-winter-from-a-veteran-of-freezing-houses-wooden-floors-and-big-windows/

She has some great tips and people are adding to them in the comments section so do take a look.



My tip for keeping feet warm is to insert foam or sheepskin inner soles into your shoes or boots. This really does help and you can get them in £1 shops.

Next is this article on heating a room for 8p a day using tea light candles and flower pots. Haven`t tried this but there is a video link explaining it all if you would like to try it yourself. I don`t think I would hold out to much hope of it working well. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2492549/Video-reveals-heat-home-using-just-TEALIGHTS-FLOWERPOTS--costs-just-8p-day.html

My tip for anyone who doesn`t like onesies (like me) get yourself a honcho like this.
fleece new pink flower


http://www.festivalkit.co.uk

If your crafty make yourself one out of some cheap fleece blankets. They are great. Mine goes on the minute I get indoors.

The famous http://www.Moneysavingexpert.com site has a thriving section on keeping yourself and your home warm. You can find all kinds of tips in the old style money saving forum section. 

If you are lucky enough to have a coal fire try this tip for getting that fire started without using firelighters.

Rub petroleum jelly over a bunch of cotton wool balls then store them in a zip lock bag. When you're ready to make a fire, pull a few cotton strands out and place a ball under your kindling wood then light. Success!






Lots of tips on http://www.mumsnet.co.uk for keeping babies and children warm without putting them at risk of overheating.

My tip is walk a dog, borrow one if you don`t own a dog. Great to get outdoors walking warms you up and your not paying for heating when you are out. The dog might have other ideas though and prefer to lie down!






Pinterest is a great source of tips and information. See my board on easy tips here.
http://www.pinterest.com/chrismse1/easy-tips/



rub petroleum jelly over a bunch of cotton balls then store in ziplock bag. When you're ready to make a fire, pull a few cotton strands out and place under your wood then light your cotton ball

Monday, 21 October 2013

Fantasy Interview with Lily Savage

MY FANTASY INTERVIEW WITH LILY SAVAGE  


 (ENTRY INTO WRITING COMPETITION)


JOB ROLE -  LILY IS BEING INTERVIEWED FOR THE JOB OF NANNY TO TWO ADORABLE?! BOYS

Details of competition here:


#JobAcademy portal

http://www.iamtypecast.com/2013/10/interview-competition.html


include this link to the #JobAcademy portal - http://www.totaljobs.com/insidejob/jobacademy/ (and one to this blog post if you like) - See more at: http://www.iamtypecast.com/2013/10/interview-competition.html#sthash.vlqGlB8h.dpuf
include this link to the #JobAcademy portal - http://www.totaljobs.com/insidejob/jobacademy/ (and one to this blog post if you like) - See more at: http://www.iamtypecast.com/2013/10/interview-competition.html#sthash.vlqGlB8h.dpuf
http://www.totaljobs.com/insidejob/jobacademy/













MEET THE BOYS ! (photo from Halloween pinterest board)




Questions I ask Lily and her answers :


Q. I know you can look after dogs but what about kids?


A. Well there is not much difference really, except I wouldn`t walk the kids on a lead. I might tag them though.


Q. If you needed to scold them what would you do?

A. That`s easy tie them to the back door and hit them with a wet mop.


Q. What healthy meals would you cook for them?


A. Cook?! me! its pizza or chips and they will damn well like it. I got cabbage and spuds when I was a kid.


Q. What would you do it they would not go to bed ?

A. Well if I couldn`t hit them with a frying pan, I`d hang them by the ankles out of the window.


Q. How would you help them with their homework?

A. Google, google and eeeem google. I hope they know how to google.


Q. This is a non- smoking household is that a problem for you?

A. Not at all I never touch tobacco!


Pinterest - no monkey business board.


Does Lily get the job?

Yes, I`m sure its the perfect job for her, It is either Lily, boarding school or Borstal for these boys.







Friday, 27 September 2013

Foodbank Networks

WINTER IS ON THE WAY SO IF YOU HAVE ANYTHING SPARE PLEASE DON`T FORGET THE LOCAL FOODBANKS ARE IN DESPERATE NEED OF DONATIONS.

UK Foodbanks

13 million people live below the poverty line in the UK.
Every day people in the UK go hungry for reasons ranging from redundancy to receiving an unexpected bill on a low income. Trussell Trust foodbanks provide a minimum of three days emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis in the UK.
In 2012-13 foodbanks fed 346,992 people nationwide. Of those helped, 126,889 were children. Rising costs of food and fuel combined with static income, high unemployment and changes to benefits are causing more and more people to come to foodbanks for help.
The Trussell Trust partners with churches and communities to open new foodbanks nationwide. With almost 400 foodbanks currently launched, our goal is for every town to have one.

Desperate times...

‘We had to borrow a tin of soup from next door to stop our

18-month-old daughter from going to bed hungry.’

Ann-Marie, Salisbury Read story

‘If there was no foodbank I’d have to steal something to feed my family.’

Jamie, Andover Foodbank client
Foodbanks help prevent crime, housing loss, family breakdown and mental health problems. A simple box of food makes a big difference.
All food is donated by the public and sorted by volunteers. Frontline care professionals such as doctors and social workers identify people in crisis and issue a food voucher. Clients receive three days of nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food in exchange for their food voucher. Foodbanks also make time to chat and to signpost clients to other helpful services.

Why do people need emergency food?

Today people across the UK will struggle to feed themselves and their families. Redundancy, illness, benefit delay, domestic violence, debt, family breakdown and paying for the additional costs of heating during winter are just some of the reasons why people go hungry. Read client stories

What’s in a foodbox?

Each foodbox contains a minimum of three days nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food.
Foodbanks rely on the support of local communities. Click here to find your nearest foodbank.
If there’s no foodbank near you why not find out more about starting a foodbank.

Eat Well, Spend Less courses

The Trussell Trust has piloted, and is currently looking for funding to roll out, 'Eat Well, Spend Less' courses that teach people how to cook when on a low budget. The course includes basic cookery lessons as well as providing advice on food budgeting, hygiene and nutrition. If you or your company could help to fund this project we'd love to hear from you: Contact Mark Ward, Funding Team Manager, 01722 580176.


Find your nearest foodbank here
Find

Foodbank photos

Collecting food at a supermarket
A primary school gives harvest gifts
Sorting food donations
Girl with her own shopping list
Receiving a foodbox
Mother leaves foodbank with bags of food
Click on each image to view larger
More

Monday, 16 September 2013

PES 2014 - COME ROUND PARTY

Grace Claims the first Goal




We received our  PES 2014 party pack from Come Round for our PES 2014 Party which took place on 13th  September 2013.

Here is our review


 
 
 
Great Graphic make the pitch and players realistic and the game fun. We used the PES 2014 for the XBox.

 
The boys compete for Man of the Match


Yes! I won

 
 
The final Whistle!


Everyone agreed that the PES 2014 is the game to have for Christmas, whether you are old or young, if you love football this game is a must.





Charlie takes the trophy as the guys grab a beer. The chicken and Mushroom Pot Noodles disappear in half time. It is one thing to watch your team lose, its another when the kids beat you. Time for another game everyone.